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New condos to rise over beach

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JMC Design and Development is again bringing a project to Clearwater Beach, this one replacing the Holiday Inn. By AARON SHAROCKMAN Published April 20, 2005 CLEARWATER – Another $100-million-plus development is coming to Clearwater Beach. And again, it’s being shepherded by beach developers Mike Cheezem and David Mack, who have already built four 150-foot-tall condominiums and have another condominium-hotel project scheduled to break ground this year. This $110-million project, approved by the city’s Community Development Board on Tuesday, will replace a 210-unit hotel near the Sand Key Bridge with two, 150-foot-tall condominium towers and a total of 149 units. The Holiday Inn Sunspree is scheduled to be demolished next summer, said Ken Eckelkamp, president of JMC Design and Development, Cheezem’s company. That company already has built the Mandalay Beach Club and partnered with Mack’s Connecticut company, Greenfield Partners, on the 200-unit Belle Harbor condominium project and the soon-to-be-built Sandpearl Resort. All together, Mack and Cheezem now plan some 600 condominiums and 251 hotel rooms, valued together at $458-million. “We’re proud to say we’re going to bring another quality project to Clearwater Beach,” Eckelkamp said after the Community Development Board’s unanimous approval. Units in the new condominium project will range from 1,600 to 2,600 square feet, with the four penthouses having 4,700 square feet each. Prices for the condos have not yet been set, Eckelkamp said, and sales will not start until spring 2006. In the interim, Eckelkamp said, the hotel will continue to operate. “We don’t want too much construction going on at the same time,” said Mack, referring to the bevy of other projects now scheduled to be built on the beach. A recent St. Petersburg Times survey of the beach found more than $1-billion of private investment now planned. Developers said renovating the 40-year-old, 210-room hotel would have cost $20-million. The 5.3-acre property is more conducive for condominiums, said developers, who paid $18.65-million for the site in July. As part of the agreement, developers will demolish a 20-unit motel at 41 Devon Drive and help the city build a public parking lot on that space. In exchange for demolishing the hotel and transferring that property’s development rights, Mack and Cheezem can build up to 150 feet, 50 feet above what is allowed. HOLIDAY INN: SUNSPREE CONVERSION THE PLAN: 149 units in two 150-foot-tall towers; units ranging from 1,600 to 2,600 square feet WHERE: 715 S Gulfview Blvd., near the foot of the Sand Key Bridge THE DEVELOPERS: David Mack’s Greenfield Partners and Mike Cheezem’s JMC Communities WHAT’S NEXT: Hotel continues to operate until summer 2006; condo construction to begin after that Source:
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